In interview to the program Bom Dia, Ministro (“Good Morning, Minister”), of the Brazilian Company of Communication (EBC), the minister of Foreign Relations, Antônio Patriota, pointed out, among other subjects, the relation of Brazil with China and the visit of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, in March.
Brazil and China
The relation with China is more and more important for Brazil. The country became our main commercial partner in 2009 and kept this rank in 2010. It is true that there are aspects of this relationship that need to be examined, because our exporting list is, especially, composed by basic products, while we import principally manufactured products and capital goods. We have a robust surplus with China. Last year, this surplus was of US$ 5.2 billions. Moreover, China was the principal investor in Brazil in 2010 and keeps, interested in investing, not only so that we increase the production of iron ore, steel and of other products, but also it is interested in the infrastructure project regarding the World Cup and the Olympics.
Entry of cheaper products in Brazil
It is not only through the protection that we will manage to surpass the international competition. In fact, the protection generally unleashes protection of the other side too, and then we get in a situation that is negative for everybody. What we need to do is to equip ourselves. To be prepared to compete in the market that is, undoubtedly, more difficult and competitive. I believe that Brazil has conditions to affirm itself in countless sectors. To close borders is never a solution. However, specific situations need to be examined. Brazil also emerges in specific sectors and moves other producers. It is a game for which we must be prepared. Sometimes, the problem is seasonal: during certain period the ones in trouble are our producers; after a while will be the producer of the neighbor country.
March 26 is the date of the 20 years of the Mercosur. As a whole, it has been extremely beneficial to Brazil. With Argentina we have, today, a surplus of more of US$ 4 billions. With the Uruguay, we are in an a little more balanced commerce. It is a smaller market, but I believe that, through the co-ordination, the negotiation and the dialog, we could find a mutually beneficial way.
We also work for the integration in the South American extent as a whole, and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) is the mechanism created to reach this goal. A few days ago, the Uruguay deposited the ratification instrument of the treaty of the Unasur and, with that, the treaty will come into force on March 11. It is great news for everyone who is committed with the project of the South American integration.
The Itamaraty has been restructured to deal with the growing number of Brazilians abroad. This number increased, especially, during the years of greater internal economical difficulty in Brazil, which were in the 80’s and the 90’s. Today, with the faster economical growth, there are many Brazilians returning. Anyway, there is a specific under-secretariat in the Itamaraty that is responsible for the Brazilians abroad. A representatives´ council was created, last year, and it joins annually with representatives of the communities in different countries. With Spain, we have been developing an important dialog, due to difficulties that Brazilians found in the arrival in Madrid and in other Spanish airports. Fortunately, these difficulties have been lessening very much due to these mechanisms that we established. There are still other channels; the Brazilian consulates play equally this part, so that we board with the authorities of the countries where abuses and irregularities take place, etc. In the site of the Itamaraty in the Internet there are primers and documents with numbers that can be dialed and electronic addresses. We recommend that in cases of irregularities abroad, the Brazilian looks for the nearest consular agent.
Visit of Barack Obama
Not only subjects of economical and commercial order will be on the agenda, but also we want to narrow the political dialog. The United States keep on being the main world power, in the economical and military field. It is the second individual partner of Brazil, in commercial matter; and a country with which we have a tradition of good relationship and a very wide agenda of subjects. At the time that Brazil seeks to develop the industrial productivity and the competitiveness, it will be crucial to establish partnerships with more developed countries, with which we could benefit from a technology transfer in high technology areas. It can be, for example, the space area, the biotechnology area. And also on biofuels – important theme for Brazil and the United States. It will be an important visit under several aspects and we are working so that it is, also, a visit of the reaffirmation of the friendship between the North American people and the Brazilian people.